The 4-H Youth program strives to improve the quality of life for Mississippi 4-H'ers by developing the potential of young people and by providing "hands-on" (experiential) educational programs. Program priorities identified include leadership development, life skills training, developing positive self-esteem, and empowering volunteers. Programs are delivered through local county Extension offices to volunteer leaders. Learn more about how to join.
The 4-H Symbol
4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four Hs on this emblem stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. These words emphasize the basis of the four-fold development of young people involved in 4-H.
Head: 4-H'ers focus on thinking, making decisions, and understanding and gaining knowledge.
Heart: 4-H'ers are concerned with the welfare of others and accept the responsibilities of citizenship and developing attitudes and values.
Hands: 4-H'ers use their hands to learn new skills and develop pride and respect for their own work.
Health: 4-H'ers develop and practice healthy living physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
The Four Essential Elements of 4-H
Mastery - By exploring 4-H projects and activities, 4-H'ers master skills to make positive career and life choices. 4-H provides a safe environment to make mistakes and receive feedback, and young people can discover their capabilities while meeting new challenges.
Generosity - By participating in 4-H community service and citizenship activities, 4-H'ers can connect to communities and learn to give back to others. These connections help young people find and fulfill their life's purpose.
Independence - By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, 4-H'ers mature in self-discipline and responsibility, learn to better understand themselves, and become independent thinkers.
Belonging - Through 4-H, young people can develop long-term consistent relationships with adults other than their parents and learn that they are cared about by and connected to others. 4-H gives young people the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe in a group setting.
4-H grew out of the progressive education movement in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Rural school principals and superintendents wanted to teach their students about the material they would need to succeed in the business world.
At the same time, agricultural colleges and experiment stations were accumulating scientific knowledge that could improve productivity and the standard of living for farmers, but farmers showed little interest in these "book farming" methods. These professors thought that teaching farmers' children improved agricultural methods might allow the information to reach the farmers.
Rural school principals and superintendents teamed with agricultural college researchers to form corn clubs in most eastern and southern states at this time.
W. H. "Corn Club" Smith was instrumental in forming Mississippi's first corn clubs. In 1907, Smith received a franking privilege and a salary of $1 per year from the United States Department of Agriculture. This was the first time the USDA had been involved in a youth program and established a three-way partnership of county, state, and federal governments working together.
While other states had corn clubs before Mississippi, none had the federal partnership Mississippi had. This is the basis of Mississippi's claim to be the birthplace of 4-H.
Dairy goats make up a niche market of the Mississippi livestock industry, but their popularity is growing across the state. Interest has grown among 4-H livestock program members, people who participate in various other showmanship contests and people who want goat milk products.
4-H’ers can participate in an upcoming camp and have fun while learning about environmental sciences. The 4-H E.A.R.T.H. Camp, or Environmental Awareness through Recreation, Technology and Health, will be held Aug. 2-4 at Lake Tiak-O’Khata in Winston County.
As students toss their caps into the air at graduation, some may be wondering how to combine their love of video games with careers that offer financial independence and stability.
Fortunately, a wide range of careers in agriculture await those more inclined toward advanced technology than previous generations might have experienced.
Several times a year, Mississippi State University Extension associates visit high schools across the state to show students how their love for technology intersects with agriculture, the state’s largest economic driver.
MAYERSVILLE, Miss. -- Alexis Hamilton never thought he would be hauling a green plastic dinosaur sheathed in protective plastic through an empty field in the Mississippi Delta. But when he looks back on his career, it’s not that big of a leap.
Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods
Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.
State senator credits 4-H background for commitment to service
Helping Mississippi’s economy survive a pandemic and supporting historic legislation to change the state flag are just a few of the votes that have made Nicole Boyd’s rookie legislative session an unprecedented one.
Extension continues educational efforts despite pandemic
Serra Beth Greenlee takes a lot of classes at her local Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Alcorn County. When she saw the Walk-a-Weigh program would be offered virtually, she signed up.
Noxubee County volunteers make a difference through service
Everybody who knows Landis and Katherine Mickens, who’ve lived in Noxubee County all their lives, knows they care about service. The Mickens’s ties to their Macon neighbors are strong and run deep, just like their 38-year marriage.
A Reward for Hard Work
Doss Family Endows Scholarship for Future Extension Agents
In the Doss family, a strong work ethic is the hallmark of success. That is why, as a tribute to his parents, Roy and Helen, Derrell Doss arranged for their trust to fund a scholarship for Mississippi State University students who want to pursue careers related to agriculture, home economics, and the Extension Service.